Last year when the pandemic hit, more people started to seek something to do outdoor. My husband and I started to ride our bike again last September of 2020. I never liked off road, so we stayed at the green way for a while until one day, I tried to do MTB. I was so frustrated and couldn’t pedal right. Until I get the hang of it, enjoyed it, tried it again, upgraded my bike to a better one, then to full suspension one! I won’t say I am addicted, I am just in-loved 🙂
I have learned so many things in mountain biking, I am still learning and exploring and I cannot wait to improve this year!
Below are some information about Northwest Arkansas trails that help my fellow newbie or visitors to know where to ride, there are tons of options from beginner to intermediate and expert. I will probably make a list of my own to cross off for this year! 🙂
WHERE TO RIDE
Source : Bentonville Bicycle Company
North West Arkansas and Bentonville in particular has risen to the top of many riders bucket list places to ride for very good reason. If you are fortunate to be a local you may already know this. With year round riding and access to hundreds of miles of trails right from town there really is something for every rider. From our shop which is located just a few blocks from Bentonville Square you have access to the now famous Slaughter Pen mountain bike (and hiking) Trail network. Most riders start with a roll down All American then branch out from there depending on skill level. If you are visiting from out of town you may want to spend a full day or two riding the Slaughter Pen trails. More information on the Slaughter Pen Trails can be found here. https://www.oztrailsnwa.com/trail-locations/slaughter-pen/
If you’ve spent some time watching videos of the area you may remember seeing a large wooden structure that branches off in all directions. That is called the hub and can be found in Bentonville’s other famous riding zone Coler Mountain Bike Preserve. Coler offers progressive trails profesionally built to make you hoot, hollar and smile all the way down (and back up) Oscar’s loop is the climbing trail that will get you to the hub. From Coler you have easy access to the sorrounding trails at Slaughter Pen and Bella Vista! Coler also offers a ride up coffee bar (Airship)
paved path riding and hiking as well as camping opportunities. Coler is a blast and we would suggest spending a solid day sessioning and exploring these suoper fun trails.
More info on Coler Mountain Bike Preserve can be found here. https://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/coler-mountain-bike-preserve
If you are looking for longer, more cross country style riding the trails in Bella Vista will suit you well. Just a short five to ten minute drive or a 15 to 20 minute ride from Bentonville, Bella Vista offers several differnt riding zones to keep you happy over several days of riding. Most riders start by sampling the tasty offerings at Blowing Springs, which also offers overnight camping.
The Back 40 loop offers a true cross country experience as it twists and winds it’s way through 22 miles or so of some very pretty terrain. Bring your climbing legs on this one as you’ll gain right about 2000 feet on this ride. There are several fun trails that branch off from the Back 40 such as Ledges, Rago, SBAT, Floride, Taylor Homestead and more. Bring pleanty of water.
The Tunnel Vision Loop is on the West side of Bella Vista Vista and also offers a primo, longer cross country style loop. There is lots of trail building going on in the Bella Vista area now with some really cool, progressive trails coming in. Check out Wonderland and Little Sugar trails. Feel free to stop in or give us a call here at the shop and we’ll help you out with any trail questions you may have. More information on the Bella Vista Trails can be found here. https://www.oztrailsnwa.com/trail-locations/little-sugar/
and here. https://www.oztrailsnwa.com/trail-locations/back-40/
and here. https://www.oztrailsnwa.com/trail-locations/blowing-springs/
Bentonville also offers excellent opportunities for pavement and path riding. You can ride the Razorback Greenway all the way to Fayetville!
More information on the Razorback Greenway can be found here. https://www.nwarpc.org/razorback-regional-greenway/
Gravel riding is starting to take off in Northwest arkansas as well and there are lots of options. The Little Sugar and Big Sugar Gravel Race is expected to happen next year! https://www.bigsugargravel.com/course/
If you have more days to ride and want something different check out the Lake Leatherwood Gravity Trails, a shuttle is usually offered here as well! You are also not far from some pretty amazing trails in Rogers (Hobbs) and Fayetville (Kessler) as well as the IMBA Epic at the Buffalo Headwaters!
More information on those can be found here. https://www.oztrailsnwa.com/trail-locations/mount-kessler/